Plans have changed - but I’m in the right place for now

By Maria Maldonado on December 12, 2013
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I changed my post-secondary plans about a dozen times. Students in my class were going into well-known universities or going abroad, and that made me believe I had to do something like that. Although I had to rethink my decisions and understand all my options, I stand by my choices. I decided on this path because I knew it was right for me.

I am attending a community college right now. I remember going through several universities’ catalogs my senior year in high school and desperately hoping one would fit what I was looking for. And one did; it is a very well-known university with great programs for my major(s). Although I decided not to attend right now, I know I am capable of entering in a few years.

Just because we decide to attend a community college doesn’t mean we have less potential than those who attend universities. Everyone takes different paths after high school. That’s the great thing about it: When we reach the crossroads, we don’t all take the same paths.
A philosophical response to disappointment
The fact that I wasn’t going to leave home and start at a university was disappointing. I wanted to start my college education in a new state with new people. I believe I could have done everything I had set myself to do, but I was just not ready for something that big. Some people are comfortable diving right in, but I am just not that kind of person. I knew I was not ready personally as well as financially.

It was hard hearing my friends talk about how great their dorms are and their roommates; I felt like I was missing out. But I know everything happens for a reason. I have worked very hard to be where I am in my path right now and I am glad I am sticking to my gut feeling.

I won’t lie -- if I had the money, I would have definitely decided to attend my dream school. Sure, I would have fears, but I would also have faith. I believe in myself and my abilities to succeed. When a challenge appears, believe that you are greater than that challenge.
My life would have been completely different than it is now if I decided to attend my dream school. Although a part of me wishes for that life, I know I am in the right place right now. I am working hard to transfer in a few years and begin my career. I may have chosen the longer path, but I am glad that I did. All of our paths have bumps -- it’s our job to go over them and keep on walking.
Puzzling it out
Let’s refer to life as a puzzle. Sometimes, when we’re putting our puzzle together, we desperately want to see the picture that it will form. We search for every piece and sometimes we can’t find all of them right away. At times we force a piece to fit where it doesn’t belong. We try so hard to make the picture look the way we want it to, but our job is to put in the effort, patience, and faith so that in the end, the picture will be better than we dreamed it to be.

I don’t have regrets regarding my post-secondary decisions. I know everything will fall into place. Post-secondary decisions are important and will make a really big difference in your life; there’s no way to hide that fact. However, in life we all make mistakes, and that’s OK. If the path you choose isn’t working out too great, try a new one. Don’t let someone push you into one you don’t feel comfortable walking down. After all, you are the one who will be living it.
Take a moment and listen to your gut feeling -- what is it telling you?

About the Author

Maria Maldonado

Maria Maldonado

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